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The Poker League began as the South Bay Poker League in August 2005, then became My Poker Club USA until season XXXI when it was changed to The Hold 'Em Poker League and expanded on line. Many of the original players played locally once or twice a week in cash games and single-table tournaments. The players were in pursuit of a consistent, weekly game, which also could determine how the players “stacked up” competitively against one another over time. The League Format was born and continues today.

The Hold 'Em Poker League is a league or “Club” where new friends and old can come together to play/learn a game loved by all, providing a social setting for good-spirited competition, flexible scheduling, and an inexpensive night out. The format of the Club is much like your typical volleyball, softball, fantasy football, or other sports-type league, in that you play an entire season, accumulating points, moving up and down in the standings, trying to qualify for the Playoffs, with the ultimate goal of making the Final Table to win the Championship.

The Club consists of a number of players registered players usually between 70 and 150 players, divided into a number of locations, each with a group players at each location (usually10 or 12). These locations are the homes of volunteer hosts. The Club Hosts are responsible for managing a weekly game and providing a suitable playing area with a table, and chairs, chips, cards and a timer. Hosts are also responsible for reporting results of each game in a timely manner to the Club Commissioners, along with a few other administrative duties.

Each week/game, nine of the players meet at the scheduled location (house), usually on a particular night of the week (i.e., Monday-Thursday), with some players having a bye (usually one or two players). Games are scheduled to be nine-handed games, although missing players may result in the game being played short. If a table has played short previously, the table may have one or more 10 player games scheduled to keep the average players per game at that table in line with the other tables in the league and to create additional make up opportunities. No player plays more than nine games in the regular season.

Based on a player’s individual performance in each of his/her nine games, he/she will receive a designated amount of points per game. First place on the player’s night will receive 20 points; second place receives 14 points; all the way down to ninth place receiving zero points. Games that play less than 7 may be for fewer points per modified schedule. These points are reported back to the Club Commissioners, who in-turn, updates everyone’s finishes (points) on a spreadsheet which is sent out (or posted) weekly to the entire Club as the Regular Season Standings.

The standings show all scheduled games and BYE’s for each player in the league. Most players are scheduled to play one game each week (except BYE weeks) at the same location on the same night of the week. Players can trade BYEs with players assigned to their table or scheduled games with players at other tables, even games several weeks apart to accommodate schedule changes. This will allow for the utmost flexibility in scheduling to fit most people’s lifestyles and work schedules. Additional switching among players at other tables is encouraged to mix up play and to size-up the competition on other nights. Missing a game with little or no notice, such that the opening can’t be filled may result in the inability to make up the game due to a lack of availability. The schedule may have open spots and additional spots tend to open up toward the end of the season, so there are some opportunities to make up missed games. We drop the 9th score so players that are unable to play a 9th game are at less of a disadvantage.

The Playoff and Final Tourney qualifiers are based on the number of overall participants. Upon the conclusion of the Regular Season, the standings are sorted, each player’s lowest score is dropped (eight-week player total used instead of nine-week total), and roughly the top 40% of players (Number is published in the schedule for each season) will move on to compete in a Playoff game. The Playoffs give each player the opportunity to compete against other top players in the Club for a chance to earn additional points. After adding the Playoff points to the players’ Regular Season Totals, the revised standings will then be re-sorted and the top half of Playoff players advance to the Finals. (Example: 80 Players = 32 Players in Playoffs and 16 players in Finals) The Final Table/Tournament is played for Cash Prizes and a Club Championship Trophy. The exact number of participants is determined early in the season, once the number of players for the season is finalized.

The Club fee is $200 per season due prior to the first scheduled game, and is not refundable. Each week at each location, there will be small payouts for 1st-2nd-3rd place finishes ($40, $20 and $10), along with any head-hunter chips collected on a nightly basis. A head-hunter chip or bounty is a pre-determined ($5) chip which acts as a side-wager to the Club fee, payouts, and prize pool. A head-hunter chip is surrendered by Player A to Player B when Player B eliminates Player A. Players may only lose his/her own head-hunter chip and not head-hunter chips earned and accumulated by eliminating other players. Head-hunter chips are purchased and cashed out on a nightly basis. Each player must bring $5 per week to his/her game, separate from the Club fee paid.

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Founded Mar 27, 2014

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Jeff, Anita, Aparna Srinivasan, Dave Smith, Rob Eades

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